Co-written with H.J.
Following the main article in WattsUpWithThat about the New York Times shamelessly revising already published articles, we added a few more observations and examples of inappropriate revisions. These cases are outside the topic of climate debate. The revisions are substantial, undisclosed, and are nothing like real-time updates of developing stories.
- New information is added time and time again to so many of these already published articles. Entire walls of text have been added, or deleted.
- Occasionally, the topic of the article is changed. Where authors had moved forward with one topic, they then completely switched courses and rewrote the entire article.
- Also seen, are complete rewrites of headlines.
- There are manipulative tactics used against political figures they hate, like Bannon and Trump. We’ve seen them omit information and quotes that are positive and weaken the author’s malicious intent with the article. We’ve also seen authors demonize these names with language that implies guilt. For example, instead of quoting someone as “saying” something, they will quote them as “admitting” something, as if the person quoted has a knowledge of guilt present.
- It seems as if the only time readers are notified of any changes is to report when they have incorrectly spelled someone’s name, misidentified someone’s title, or something relatively minor. In fact, out of the dozens of articles we reviewed, we have yet to see the reader told even once that an article’s topic has completely changed, or that several paragraphs have been added.
- We’ve got the impression that NYT, formerly the paper of the record, feels it is OK to revise the record, “for a good cause.” Just like NOAA and other formerly trustworthy scientific organizations.
- Keep in mind that web articles from sources even less respectable than NY Times are quoted by URLs in legal documents, and are alleged as grounds for Attorneys’ General investigation.
- This is one of many articles with excessive revisions. So much new information is added without any notification. This article was rewritten 18 times. http://newsdiffs.org/article-history/www.nytimes.com/2017/03/02/us/politics/jeff-sessions-russia-trump-investigation-democrats.html
- Topic change. The topic of this article changes from something the Mexican president said to Trump’s decision to go to Mexico and Phoenix. http://newsdiffs.org/article-history/www.nytimes.com/2016/09/01/us/politics/donald-trump-immigration-speech.html
- Complete rewrites and/or multiple changes on figures they don’t like, like Bannon and Trump. Manipulative language. Heavy revisions. This article was rewritten 15 times. http://newsdiffs.org/article-history/www.nytimes.com/2016/08/18/us/politics/donald-trump-stephen-bannon-paul-manafort.html
- The word “criminal” is notably taken out of the headline. The phrase “criminal investigation into whether Hillary Rodham Clinton mishandled sensitive government information on a private email account” became “criminal investigation into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton” http://www.newsdiffs.org/diff/942817/942849/www.nytimes.com/2015/07/24/us/politics/criminal-inquiry-sought-in-hillary-clintons-use-of-email.html
- Also, an “earlier version” statement saying that the article has been rewritten is omitted. In total, this article was rewritten 11 times. http://www.newsdiffs.org/article-history/www.nytimes.com/2015/07/24/us/politics/criminal-inquiry-sought-in-hillary-clintons-use-of-email.html
- Topic change. Manipulative journalism. This article tells readers they misspelled a surname but fail to report that they completely rewrote the article to go from Trump talking about wanting a constructive relationship with China, to China’s leader being upset with Trump. All this before rewriting it again to say that trump endorses a certain policy. Entire walls of text are added and deleted multiple times. This article was rewritten a total of 8 times. http://newsdiffs.org/article-history/www.nytimes.com/2017/02/09/world/asia/donald-trump-china-xi-jinping-letter.html
- Walls of text are deleted and added. http://www.newsdiffs.org/article-history/www.nytimes.com/2016/01/14/world/europe/research-doesnt-back-a-link-between-migrants-and-crime-in-us.html
- Topic change and drastic headline change, without notice. http://newsdiffs.org/article-history/www.nytimes.com/2016/02/25/us/politics/republican-race-puts-paul-ryan-and-donald-trump-on-collision-course.html
- This one is one of several articles that omits quotes that support the figure they don’t like. http://newsdiffs.org/diff/1223323/1223377/www.nytimes.com/2016/08/08/world/asia/duterte-philippine-president-links-150-public-servants-to-drugs.html